Ukrainian children hosted in Türkiye's Antalya want war to end as soon as possible

Ukrainian children hosted in Türkiye's Antalya want war to end as soon as possible

'Greatest wish of all Ukrainians is that war ends with victory,' say children displaced by Russia-Ukraine war

By Hatice Ozdemir Tosun

ANTALYA (AA) – Ukrainian children hosted in Türkiye's Antalya city want the Russia-Ukraine war to end as soon as possible and to live safely in their country.

"We live in difficult conditions. My mother and father are in the war, and I want to be a soldier. We were brought to Türkiye for a short time to gain morale. Our days are very good here. We do different activities every day," 14-year-old Kira Bilenka told Anadolu.

Bilenka, who studied at a military high school in Ukraine, said they are celebrating Ukraine's Independence Day sadly this year, as they did last year.

She thanked those who made them feel safe in Türkiye, saying they want to live safely in their country.

"We left the Soviet Union, we became an independent country. Now we are fighting for independence again. The greatest wish of all Ukrainians is that the war ends with victory. Every day, people, babies die. Children suffer," she said.

Meanwhile, 14-year-old Vladislav Prokopenko told Anadolu the Russia-Ukraine war had negatively changed the lives of all Ukrainians, and that his mother and father stayed back in the country.

"We can't think of tomorrow anymore, we live the day. The war taught us that we can only live in the moment. Everyone in Ukraine wants to live in prosperity and peace.

"The war took my house, my school, my friends. The bombs destroyed my school, my house. We suffered great losses. I hope the war will end and we will be able to return to our country with peace of mind. I miss my mother, my father, and my country so much," he said.

Danylo Kalinichenko, 12, told Anadolu when the war started they stayed in Ukraine for 2-3 months before coming to Türkiye.

-‘War has affected children psychologically’

In an interview with Anadolu, Oleksandr Voronin, Ukraine's Consul in Antalya, said Ukrainian children continued their lives in Türkiye under good conditions, and that living in Ukraine has become difficult, especially for children.

"It is much more important for children to live in a calm and safe country. We hope that such an environment will be established in Ukraine as soon as possible. The war has negatively affected children psychologically," Voronin said.

Voronin further said that they carry out various activities to make the children feel good while thanking Türkiye for providing them with good living conditions.

“All Ukrainians wanted the war to end with victory,” he added.

* Writing by Burc Eruygur in Istanbul

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